Activiti Developers Guide

By Doris Henry,2014-01-15 16:17
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Activiti Developers Guide

    Activiti Developers Guide

     Activiti Developers Guide

     Building a distribution from the source


     Source Code

     Building the distribution

     Setup scripts in the distro

     Eclipse IDE Setup

     Coding style


     Running the test suite using Spring configuration

     Checkin when test is failing


     Demo setup

     Debugging ant task

     Activiti Modeler (Signavio)

     GIT pointers

    Building a distribution from the source


    JDK 5+ : Make sure that you do not use code constructs that require JDK 6 or higher.

    Maven 2.0.9

    Ant 1.7.1

    Source Code (see for more links including anonynmous access for non-committers).Building the distribution

    1.Check out the latest version from trunk: 'svn


    2.Go into the distro subfolder and run the following ant command: 'ant clean distro'

    3.The distribution can now be found in the target folder.

    Setup scripts in the distroAfter an distribution is unzipped (or directly in the distro/target/activiti-version directory), a number of scripts are offered to our users as well. Those scripts can be found

    in [activiti.home]/setup/build.xml and can optionally use settings from [user.home]/.activiti/

    As an example, here's the content of my [user.home]/.activiti/




    activiti.home, is used in the setup/build.xml. It will work straight from the sources. So you can add the setup from the sources to your ant view in your IDE.

    downloads.dir, is used in the setup/build.xml. It allows you to configure a custom location for your directory to download/find tomcat. If you don't specify this, the default is relative to the setup directory (../downloads). So if you use the setup/build from the sources, you might end up downloading tomcat into your sources. If that still would happen, don't check it in! tomcat.enable.debug is used in setup/build.xml when tomcat is installed. if the property is specified (whatever value), the following line will be added at the beginning of the"-Xdebug -Xrunjdwp:transport=dt_socket,server=y,suspend=n,address=8787"skip.deploy.activiti.modeler=true set this property if the Activiti Modeler fetching from net and deployment must be skipped.

    Unless before a release or explicitly working on the Activiti Modeler, it's advised to set this

    property since sometimes a version matching the current trunk version isn't uploaded yet, causing the demo setup to fail.

    mvn.executable=mvn.bat on windows you have to set this property to make the calls from the ant build scripts (distro/build.xml and qa/build.xml) to maven work. To work with Activiti Modeler or Activiti Cycle on trunk, set the property in your [user.home]/.activiti/ to, e.g., if you want to use a previous

    release or something like file:///home/falko/svn/activiti-modeler/dist/activiti-modeler.war if you

    want to use an own build of the Activiti Modeler.

    [user.home]/.activiti/tomcat-users.xml To enable the automatic redeployment targets in

    qa/build.xml, put a tomcat-users.xml in your [user.home]/.activiti directory with the following







    Eclipse IDE Setup

    You'll need to install the Maven and Subversion (SVN) plugins.

    In the "Galileo - [|]" update site, which should be available automatically, install "Collaboration --> Subversibe SVN Team provider". After rebooting and adding an SVN repository, you'll be asked automatically to install one of the polarion connectors for SVN. Just take the latest version of the polarion connectors. In case that doesn't happen automatically install a polarion connector manually from "Subversive SVN Connectors

    Site [|]"Install the Maven plugins from [|]

    First check out the activiti root from SVN as one project. Then import existing projects and navigate to the modules directory. All the module projects should then be found and can be imported in one go.

    In order to have BPMN code completion and validation, import BPMN's XML Schemas from activiti-engine/src/main/resources/org/activiti/impl/bpmn/parser into the Eclipse XML Catalog,

    which can be found in Preferences --> XML --> XMLCatalog.

    Coding style

    In the eclipse directory of the root activiti source directory are some files that should

    be imported as eclipse preferences. The filenames indicate the dialog that can be

    used to import them. Those eclipse files indicate the general coding style

    guidelines.** indents are 2 spaces (no tabs)** sun style braces formatting

    By default, our member field access should be set to protected


    As much as possible try to group all related changes into single commits. Before committing, run the following check to see if all is OK.

    mvn -Pcheck clean install

    In the commit message, start with the jira issue, a space and then the commit text like in this example

    ACT-826 Fixed all problems in the world

    Running the test suite using Spring



    mvn -Pcheckspring clean install

    to run the test suite on spring configuration only or

    mvn -Pcheck,checkspring clean install

    to combine running the engine testsuite on an Activiti config as well as on a Spring configIf you run the checkspring profile, the spring module will copy the engine tests over to the spring module before compiling and running the tests. Those tests are deleted in the 'package' build phase

    If you need to debug spring configuration test cases, just execute a

    mvn -Pcheckspring clean test

    in the activiti-spring module, then refresh your IDE and the classes and spring configuration will be in your activiti-spring project ready to be debugged.

    Checkin when test is failing

    In some situations, it might be practical to check in while some tests are still failing. In that situation, make sure that the tests are excluded in the modules pom.xml and that you have created a JIRA issue for it. Reference the jira issue from the pom next to the excluded test.

     And reference to the pom in the jira issue.


    Build file qa/build.xml contains a number of targets for driving the QA. It also contains convenience targets for developers to do integration testing.

    More about the QA and CI infrastructure can be found here: QA and CI Guide

    Demo setup

    To run smoke tests on webapps, the quickest way to get started is using the target test.demo.setup in qa/build.xml

    That will also startup h2 and tomcat. So to rebuild, you can use the target test.demo.setup.refresh That target will first shutdown tomcat and h2 and then do a full new demo test setup.

    Building the javadocs

    Use target build.javadocs in qa/build.xml

    Debugging ant task Modeler (Signavio)

    See How to build Activiti Modeler from Signavio

    GIT pointers

    We decided not to use GIT for now. These pointers are here for future reference when we would evaluate GIT again.

    Currently there is a GIT repository fork from SVN, for experimental purposes. If you prefer to use GIT let Tom know and we can take that into account when deciding whether to stick with it.

    To use GIT as a committer you will probably want to use ssh to authenticate automatically. Codehaus requires DSA tokens (not RSA) so you may need to create those first:$ ssh-keygen -t dsa


    Ensure that your ~/.ssh directory is only readable by you (chmod 700 ~/.ssh should do it). You

    will also probably need a ~/.ssh/config that contains these lines:


    User git


    PreferredAuthentications publickey

    IdentityFile ~/.ssh/id_dsa

    Typical initial setup:

    $ git config --global "My Name"

    $ git config --global$ git config --global core.autocrlf input

    # All the --global above can be set locally if you prefer$ git clone ssh:// activiti$ cd activiti

    $ git branch -a

    ... (list of branches)

    There are plenty of online resources for git. A good one is [Pro Git|]. IntelliJ has good IDE support. Eclipse has some very active development in [EGit|], but only basic features currently (things are moving very fast).

    Most people find gitkor gitx (Mac only) very useful for visualization (launch with --all for best


    As a rule with GIT you do not make changes directly to remote branches, but rather you

    create your own local branch and merge changes from there to the remote branch (via a local

    mirror). Typical workflow

    # create a new local branch to work from

    $ git checkout -b feature/my-new-idea

    # edit source code...

    $ git status

    ... (list of changes)

    # add all your changes to local index (N.B. -A might not always be appropriate)

    $ git add -A .

    # commit locally

    $ git commit -m "My nice changes"

    Keep doing that until you are happy. If you want to tidy up your commits and send them as a

    batch instead of individual changes look at git rebase -i .... Now you are ready to share your work. If you want to stay on a branch and collaborate with someone, push up your branch

    # if it is new:

    $ git push origin feature/my-new-idea

    # if you already shared it

    $ git push

    To checkout someone else's remote branch for collaboration:# Make sure you have all the remote changes

    $ git fetch

    # Or just make sure the branch is there

    $ git branch -a


# Checkout the branch

    $ git checkout origin/feature/my-new-idea

    When you are ready to merge with the remote master (dev trunk):

    # get changes from remote repository

    $ git fetch

    # merge changes onto master (= dev trunk for everyone else)

    $ git checkout master

    $ git merge origin/master

    # merge master onto your features (assuming you are ready to try and push it# up to the remote repository)

    $ git merge feature/my-new-idea

    # push changes up to remote repository and move back to local branch to# continue work

    $ git push

    $ git checkout feature/my-new-feature

    # optionally rebase to keep history clean

    $ git rebase master

    There are many combinations of commands that achieve the same end result as that last sequence. Your preferred workflow might be different, and of course any time there are conflicts it will have to change (GIT is quite good at telling you what it thinks is wrong in a


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